Insomnia and Workplace Accidents

November 1, 2012
by Sammons & Carpenter, P.C.

Workers compensation lawyers know that whatever the cause of an accident, on the job injuries can be a life altering experience, and the injured party often needs financial help to get back on his or her feet. This is why workers compensation exists. Those working in this field also know insomnia is the cause of many of these workplace accidents - a serious problem. A recent study published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry in October has linked insomnia to as many as 274,000 workplace errors and accidents each year. These accidents cost approximately $31.1 billion all totaled.

More than 10,000 people were surveyed for the study, the America Insomnia Survey, according to news reports. The participants were asked about workplace accidents "that either caused damage or work disruption with a value of $500 or more" or "that cost your company $500 or more."

While the connection between insomnia and workplace accidents sounds fairly obvious, before this study no comprehensive scientific data existed. This is the first comprehensive study done in the U.S. on the effects of insomnia on the workplace. Prior to this, there had been only two relatively small related studies conducted on the topic by French researchers.

The study found that 20 percent of workers reported symptoms consistent with insomnia and that 4.3 percent of those surveyed had committed a serious error or had an accident in the past year. One of the most important findings was that those with insomnia were more than twice as likely to commit an error or have an accident. The researchers calculate that between 10 and 15 percent of workplace accidents are due to insomnia. The average cost of an error due to insomnia is also higher than non-insomnia related work accidents. For an insomnia-related workplace accident, the average cost is $32,062, while other accidents average $21,914- a significant difference implying that insomnia-related accidents are more serious and cause greater damage.

The authors of the study suggest that employers pay more attention to insomnia to reduce these workplace accidents. While this study focused on mistakes and accidents on the job, reducing insomnia might also reduce the number of sick days and employee absences as well. A study last year on insomnia overall found that it cost the US $63.2 billion and 252.7 days in lost productivity each year. Efforts to combat insomnia are, therefore, practical and important all around, including for the affected employers.

Atlanta Workers Compensation Attorneys
If you have been involved in an accident on the job, due to insomnia or any other reason, contact the personal injury lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter. Our experienced workers compensation attorneys can help you understand your case and the appropriate legal avenues to pursue. Workers compensation benefits are important, so also look at our previous post (http://www.atlantainjuryattorneys-blog.com/2012/01/5-ways-to-help-your-workers-compensation-case-in-atlanta-georgia.html) for some initial ways to help your workers compensation claim. Please call us at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation.

See Our Related Blog Posts:
Georgia Man Killed in Work Accident
5 Ways to Help Your Workers Compensation Case in Atlanta, Georgia

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